Fly-tipping in Edinburgh increased over summer due to council's bulky uplift delays
DELAYS in arranging uplifts of bulky items caused fly-tipping to increase in the Capital over the summer, an official council document has revealed.
The city council came under fire earlier this year after more than half of bookings to take away bulky household items, which cost residents £5, led to waiting times of longer than four weeks. Now officials have admitted that between May and August, reported cases of fly-tipping increased by almost 240 incidents – a seven per cent rise.
Council officers have put the fly-tipping increase down to the delays for bulky items to be taken away, admitting it “may be more associated with the waiting times associated with special uplifts rather than as a direct consequence of revised opening and closing hours”. But recycling chiefs have insisted that waiting times have “reduced significantly” in recent weeks.
The new report reveals that in some parts of the Capital, fly-tipping has almost doubled since last year, including Corstorphine and Portobello. Other areas experiencing a big rise in fly tipping are Leith, Liberton/Gilmerton and the Almond ward, covering rural west Edinburgh.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Kevin Lang said: “It is little wonder that fly tipping has increased when we have an SNP-Labour administration making it as difficult as possible for people to recycle.
“It is shocking that some parts of the city have seen an almost doubling of fly-tipping. It’s clearly a problem of the council’s own making with officials blaming delays in special uplifts as a major contributor.
But council bosses say that waiting times for bulky uplifts have improved.
Environment convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “Fly-tipping is not just illegal and an eyesore, it’s a health hazard as well. We know that unfortunately issues with special uplifts had an impact over the summer but I’m pleased to note that waiting times for special uplifts have reduced significantly in recent weeks, which will help ensure people can dispose of bulky items responsibly.
“If anyone’s unable to organise a special uplift on a date that’s convenient we’d encourage them to take their items to one of our three household waste recycling centres. There are no circumstances in which fly-tipping is acceptable.”
Cllr Gavin Corbett said: “Like many councillors I’ve had frustrated householders, especially in flats and tenements, complain about the long wait to get a special uplift. In some cases, they simply have no space to store large items.
“While there can be no excuse for fly-tipping it is fairly obvious that some people have lost patience and just dumped stuff like mattresses and furniture in the street. If the council is to crack down harder on fly tipping then bulk uplifts have to be quicker and happen when scheduled.”